May 12 2020 Election VBM FAQ Montclair Nutley


What offices are up for election?

  • MONTCLAIR (see below for list of candidates)
    • Mayor
    • Council-at-Large
    • Council (by Ward)
  • NUTLEY (see below for list of candidates)
    • Board of Commissioners (5 seats)

These elections will be held 100% VOTE BY MAIL. What does “Vote by Mail” mean?

  • Vote by Mail (VBM) is the same thing as “absentee ballot” or “mail-in ballot.” 
  • There will be NO in-person polling places for this election
  • Every registered voter will be sent a ballot in the mail automatically.

Will there be in-person voting at my usual polling place for this election?

  • No. Polling places will not be operated, as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19. Voting will be done by mail only. 

How secure is Vote by Mail? 

  • VERY secure! Vote by Mail has been used by our military since the Civil War, and five states (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah) conduct elections exclusively by mail. These are some of the safeguards involved in the process here in Essex County:

    • Your ballot is prepared and mailed to you by a government official.
    • It is delivered to you by a sworn federal postal worker.
    • You fill out your ballot and place it in the certification envelope.
    • You sign the front of the certification envelope.
    • You place the signed certification envelope inside the return envelope, and seal that.
    • You may return your ballot using the Federal Postal Service to deliver the ballot to the County government, or you may deliver it in person to your Board of Elections
    • You may also have your sealed ballot hand-delivered by another registered voter of Essex County. If so, that person must fill in the "bearer" portion on the outside of the return ballot before taking it to the County offices, and they must sign the County's bearer book, to maintain the chain of custody. Bearers may hand-deliver no more than THREE ballots, including their own.
    • Every ballot has a unique barcode that is scanned once it is received.
    • Vote by Mail ballots will be opened at the Essex County College Gymnasium.
    • The process will be video streamed to a public viewing room at the College, where people can challenge any ballots they feel to be invalid.
    • The four members of the Board of Election — which consists of two Republicans and two Democrats — make decisions on challenges.
    • Your signature, displayed on the certification envelope containing the ballot, is verified to match the signature from your on-file voter registration — just as it would be at your polling place.
    • If the signature matches, and there is no challenge from the public, then the certification flap is torn off (so your voting choices remain anonymous) and the envelope containing your ballot remains sealed, ready for opening on Election Day to be counted.

Am I registered? What do I need to know about registration?

  • How do I check if I’m registered? Visit
  • What is the registration deadline? If your registration was received by Tuesday, April 21, you will be eligible to vote in the May 12 election.

When will I receive my ballot in the mail?

  • Ballots are being mailed to all registered voters on Wednesday, April 22. You should receive your ballot shortly thereafter.

What should I do if I have not received a ballot, or if my ballot has been lost or destroyed?

  • Request a replacement in person (deadline: 3:00 p.m. on May 11)
    • You may go to the County Clerk’s Office at the Hall of Records in Newark (465 Martin Luther King Blvd., Room 247, Newark NJ 07102-0690) to request and receive a replacement ballot. 
  • Request a replacement by mail/email/fax (deadline: request must be received by May 5) 
    • You may visit the Essex County Clerk’s website and download a Vote by Mail Application and a Second Ballot Request Form (see end of these FAQs for the second ballot request form). Print them and fill them out. If you do not have access to a printer, call the county at (973) 621-4921 for guidance.
    • Return the request. You may return them in person to the County Clerk’s Office and receive your mail-in ballot on the spot. Or,
      • You may return your request by mail (PO Box 690, Newark, NJ 07101-0690).
      • You may scan or photograph it and email it back to [email protected]
      • You may fax it to (973) 621-4960.
    • A new ballot will be sent to you via priority mail.  

What do I do when I receive my ballot in the mail? 

  • Fill out your ballot according to the instructions printed on it. 
  • Return your ballot to vote. How?
    • You may mail your ballot back, following instructions on the ballot.
    • Or, you may return your ballot in person at the Essex County Board of Elections, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Room 411, Newark, NJ 07102. Check daily hours by calling (973) 621-5070.

When should I return my ballot?

  • You do not have to wait. You may return your ballot as soon as you receive it and fill it out. 
  • Ballots must be postmarked no later than May 12 — Election Day. They must be received within 48 hours of Election Day. 
  • We anticipate Covid-related delays in mail service, so we advise mailing your ballot well in advance of the May 12 postmark date to be sure it is received in time to meet the 48-hour deadline.
  • If you are returning your ballot in person to the Board of Elections (465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Room 411, Newark, NJ 07102), you must deliver it by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Do I need to stamp the envelope? 

  • No! The postage for your ballot is pre-paid.

Can I bring ballots to the Board of Elections to turn them in for friends or family members?

  • You may bring in ballots for no more than THREE people, including your own. 
  • You must bring a driver’s license or other acceptable form of identification. See here for details. 

How do I know if my ballot was received?

  • You may contact the Board of Elections at (973) 621-5679 or (973) 621-5072 to find out if your ballot has been received. 
  • Please allow a week after sending to inquire. 

Does voting by mail in this election mean I will automatically be signed up to vote by mail in future elections?

  • No! When polling places are re-opened for future post-COVID elections, you will revert to your regular voting method, whether that was VBM or in-person. 

Who do I contact if I have questions?

  • Contact the Essex County Clerk’s office or your municipal clerk’s office.


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Still have questions?

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Thanks to Essex County Clerk CHRIS DURKIN 

for his generous assistance with resolving these questions!

Nutley Candidates      

To see a sample ballot, click here.

For Commissioner (voters may select 5):

  • Carmine Alessio
  • Daniel A. Carnicella
  • Frank Contella
  • Christopher Cullari
  • Thomas J. Evans
  • Sanford (Sam) D. Fleitell
  • Maria Hamlin
  • John V. Kelly III
  • Lorenza E. Marchese, Jr.
  • Alphonse (Al) Petracco
  • Joseph P. Scarpelli
  • Mauro G. Tucci


Montclair Candidates     

Sample ballot not yet available.

For Mayor:

  • Renee Baskerville
  • Sean Spiller


For Council:

Council at Large: 

  • James Cotter
  • Carmel Loughman
  • Bob Russo
  • Roger Terry
  • Peter Yacobellis

Council — First Ward

  • John Hearn
  • Bill Hurlock

Council — Second Ward

  • Robin Schlager
  • Christine “Chrissy” Thomas

Council — Third Ward

  • Lori Price Abrams
  • Marguerite “Maggie” Joralemon

Council — Fourth Ward

  • David Cummings